Background: Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) represent an affordable, easily scalable, stable
and biocompatible drug delivery system with a high drug to lipid ratio which also improves solubility
of poorly soluble drugs.
Objective: SLNs were developed by using glyceryl monostearate as the single lipid in the presence of
surfactant Poloxamer 188 and evaluated the efficiency of SLNs to load the therapeutic cargo, curcumin
Method: The nano-formulation was optimized by Quality by Design approach to understand the effect of
various process parameters on various quality attributes, including drug loadability, particle size and
polydispersity. The nanoparticles were characterized using Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier
Transform Infra-red Spectroscopy (FT-IR) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis. These novel SLNs
were evaluated for in-vitro anticancer activity using breast adenocarcinoma cells (MDA-MB-231).
Results: The optimized formulation had a particle size of 226.802±3.92 nm with low polydispersity
index of 0.244±0.018. The % encapsulation of CUR into SLNs was found to be 67.88±2.08 %. DSC,
FT-IR and XRD confirmed that the CUR was encapsulated stably into the lipid matrix, thereby improving
the solubility of the drug. CUR-SLN showed sustained drug release in comparison to the free CUR
solution. CUR-SLNs exhibited higher cellular uptake in human breast adenocarcinoma cells compared
to free CUR at both 1 and 4 h time points. CUR-SLNs demonstrated decreased cell viability
(43.97±1.53%) compared to free CUR (59.33±0.95%) at a concentration of 50 µg/mL after 24 h treatment.
Furthermore, the treatment of MDA-MB-231 cells with CUR-SLNs for 24 h induced significantly
higher apoptosis (37.28±5.3%) in cells compared to the free CUR (21.06±0.97%).
Conclusion: The results provide a strong rationale for further exploration of the newly developed
CUR-SLN to be utilized as a potent chemotherapeutic agent in cancer therapy.